The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to begin a regulatory consultation exercise during the summer involving industry and the public, with a voluntary scheme to precede the statutory system. HSE and the plant safety group of the Strategic Forum for Construction are developing the voluntary register.

A DWP spokesperson said the tower crane registration scheme “could include information such as ownership, age, design type and other relevant factors”.

The register is being proposed as part of a package of proposals to improve health and safety within the tower crane industry and increase public confidence in their safety. This includes targeted inspections over the next 12 months and improving the competence of tower crane erectors, operators and inspectors.

James Purnell, secretary of state for work and pensions said: “It’s unacceptable that people are dying directly as a cause of their work with tower cranes and I want to prevent this toll of human misery.

“It is also important that the package of measures is successful in both improving tower crane safety and improving public confidence in cranes. HSE will consult with both the industry and the public to agree how both of these ends can best be achieved.”